Member Article

GODAN Chief Executive calls for the instigation of smart Open Data policies in the UAE at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture

April 2019, London: The Chief Executive of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), André Laperrière, convened with global thought leaders, entrepreneurs, change makers, innovators, policymakers and academics at the annual Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) in Abu Dhabi between the 1st and 2nd of April, to discuss the benefits of open data and AI for addressing global food security.

As a guest speaker at the GFIA, André Laperrière spotlighted Open Data and AI innovations in their potential to address world challenges, addressing some of the industry’s most influential figure heads at the two-day exhibition. He delivered a keynote speech on Open Data in the private sector focusing on the digital divide in smallholder versus commercial farming.

The GFIA Summit 2019 was attended by more than 7000 farmers, agribusiness professionals, scientists and government officials from over 120 countries at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, where they engaged in discussions identifying innovative solutions to bridge the digital divide in agriculture and the latest technology in sustainable agriculture

Held under the patronage of H.H Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of UAE; Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority; the sixth edition of GFIA focused specifically on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can drive progress in agriculture towards increasing food production and ensuring food security in the Middle East and North Africa.

Through his participation at the forum, Mr Laperrière, addressed and discussed the trends, challenges and opportunities presented by today’s technology in agriculture and the innovations needed to take the industry forward both on a domestic and international scale, for addressing global food security.

In addition to his role as a keynote speaker, Mr Laperrière was also on the judging panel for the GFIA Innovation Awards for the ‘Best Innovation in Crop Production’ category, where he delivered a keynote speech on Open Data in the private sector, focusing on the digital divide between smallholder and commercial farming. Mr Laperrière, also chaired the panel discussion on the topic of ‘The use of Artificial intelligence for healthier plants, animals and aquaculture’.

Speaking about the potential of open data to revolutionise agriculture, Andre Laperrière, said: “In 1986, approximately 1% of the world’s data production was in a digital format. Twenty years later, in 2007, it was 94%. Today, almost the totality of data generation is digital. We currently have the intelligence, but making it into a readable and accessible format will revolutionize the world as we know it, not just in agriculture or food production.

The fact, however, is that agriculture is currently in the bottom of the smart tech revolution, but thanks to the support and patronage by visionary leaders like Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister, countries such as the UAE are heavily investing in AI across sectors and setting exemplary models for the rest of the world to emulate.

With the UAE already a global hub of science, smart tech and AI, combining it with open data policies will truly unleash the forces of revolutionary innovation, and truly change the landscape of agtech across all types of food production in the region. The scope is truly exponential,“ he added.“

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Daniel O'Donnell .

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